Modeling was a platform for me to get into films – Gaurav Arora
Vishesh Films has given many actors their big break in Hindi cinema. And most of these actors have gone on to make a name for themselves in the industry. With their latest film, Love Games, Vishesh Films and Director Vikram Bhatt introduce another new talent to the industry, actor Gaurav Arora. We caught up with Gaurav to know more about his first film, how he got into the skin of his character and his struggles to reach where he is today.
Tell us about your journey to becoming an actor.
I wanted to become an actor since I was a kid. I come from a small village in Madhya Pradesh called Mungaoli. My father is a farmer and mother is a homemaker and ironically there’s no theatre in my hometown. As I grew up, acting just took over me. While I was doing my graduation I realized that this is what I wanted to do. At that time I saw people like John Abraham, Milind Soman, Dino Morea, Arjun Rampal, Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra, who were models, were getting into films. So I thought that modeling could be a platform for me to get into films. I came to Bombay and it was my first time in the city. It took me a while to actually understand how it works and where it works from. I didn’t know the who’s who of Mumbai. So I did a 6-month acting course and while I was doing that, I was also preparing myself to get into modelling. I was grooming, going to the gym and I started meeting people from the film and fashion fraternity.
Gradually modelling started to happen and from there on I did quite a lot of work including fashion weeks, shows with various designers and a lot of brand shoots. Then I started preparing myself as an actor. I started doing theatre for which I traveled all over India and seriously got into it. Every time we would do a new play, we would prepare ourselves for 2-3 months. And that’s where you learn. Theatre was a great learning experience for me. I then started meeting a lot of new people. And one day I got a call from Vishesh Films and I went and met Vikram sir. And within five minutes I was offered Love Games.
I did go through a series of rejections and a lot of hard work. I would stand outside people’s offices for hours. I would know that someone is making a film and I could fit into that character, but the problem was how does one go and meet that person. I didn’t have any links and that was the most difficult part. But slowly I started making a few contacts in modelling and with casting directors and that really helped.
What made you say yes to Love Games?
My character in the film is not just someone who is showing his muscles or dancing skills. It’s a deep and intense character. This film is about swingers, about love in the times of lust and friends with benefits. It’s about a couple wherein the girl is a widow and has a huge appetite for sex. She is filthy rich, unapologetic and has the power and means to get what she wants. And the guy that I play is also a rich and spoilt brat. His mother left him when he was a kid and he has always seen his parents fight, so he doesn’t believe in love.
This plot has much relevance in today’s time. We all have thousands of friends on Facebook but when we actually need someone it becomes very lonely. And that is what happens with my character. He has everything that he wants in life so there is no struggle, no adventure. One day he starts to harm himself so that the pain makes him feel alive. He then meets this girl and they start playing these love games for more adventure. And while playing these games he actually falls in love. So when the makers told me about the character, I realized that it has a lot of scope – from being a party animal, an extrovert to a drug and sex addict to how he becomes lonely, falls in love and so on. As an actor there was a lot to do.
Since it’s your first film, how did you prepare yourself for the role?
We had a lot of reading sessions and several workshops as well. While I was preparing for the role, I also got to know all these things really happen. If you go on Facebook, there is a page for swingers. It’s so easily available. And it’s not just happening in bigger cities like Bombay (Mumbai) but it happens everywhere in society.
How was your experience of working with director Vikram Bhatt?
It was a great experience. On the fourth day of my shoot he offered me Raaz 4. That’s the best compliment I’ve got because without even seeing me on screen, without the feedback of the audience, without even knowing the fate of this film, they offered me my second film. In today’s time it takes any actor a year or two to get his next movie. So I am very lucky in that sense. Vikram Bhatt is like an elder brother to me. He knows me inside out and knows exactly how I would react in a situation. And that is very important to have between an actor and director. He’s also my 4 am friend. That’s the kind of relationship we share.
Vishesh Films has launched several newcomers who became superstars overnight. How does that make you feel?
While I was young and studying, I saw actors like John Abraham, Emraan Hashmi, Bipasha Basu, Kangana Ranaut and they all did so well. When they told me that they are launching a new boy after almost a decade and I learnt that I’m getting this opportunity, it was a big thing for me. They are known for launching new faces. So I was very excited and thankful.
What other projects are you working on?
Raaz 4 releases in September. I’m waiting for these two films to release and to get feedback from people. There’s another film, which is at it’s scripting phase right now. I have a 3-film deal with them (Vishesh Films).